Manager Earl Weaver of Baltimore (4-1) protested a game because of a moth. After the moth flew into the ear of Minnesota's Butch Wynegar and the catcher was off the field for 12 minutes being treated, Weaver lodged his protest; he felt the game had been unduly delayed. When play resumed, the Orioles further bugged the Twins, winning 6-5 on Doug DeCinces' single in the 13th. Lee May had knotted the score at 5-5 with a homer in the seventh. It was the 20th home run for May, making him the 19th player to have hit that many in 10 consecutive seasons. Three one-run wins gave the Orioles 26 victories in 40 such games. Ross Grimsley (12-6) beat the A's 5-4 and the Twins 6-2. Mike Flanagan, who was 2-8 on June 23, squared his record at 9-9 by holding off Minnesota 3-2. Ken Singleton socked his 18th and 19th homers and batted .500, and Andres Mora walloped four home runs.
Boston (4-3) did not hit with its usual power. After crunching the Mariners 11-1, the Sox squeezed past the Royals 2-1 and 5-3 as Reliever Bill Campbell picked up his 20th save in the first game and his 12th win in the next. Jim Rice's 20th double made him the first Red Sox player since Ted Williams in 1939 to have 20 or more doubles, 10 or more triples and 30 or more homers.
Thirteen home runs pepped up the Tigers (4-3). They beat the Twins 6-5 as Ben Oglivie homered twice and Tim Corcoran once as a pinch hitter. Ron LeFlore and Oglivie both hit their 15th home runs and Milt May his 10th as Detroit bombed Seattle 13-1, and Steve Kemp cleared the fence twice to polish off the Mariners 6-4. Aurelio Rodriguez also hit two homers as Milt Wilcox (5-0) beat Seattle 7-3. The longest ball of all was Jason Thompson's 23rd home run in a 5-4 loss to New York. Thompson's drive was only the 14th hit out of Tiger Stadium in 40 years, clearing the 94-foot-high third deck in right field.
Also hitting for distance was Andre Thornton of Cleveland (5-3), who homered and drove in six runs during a 12-4, 14-5 doubleheader sweep of Milwaukee. Thornton's fourth homer of the week and 23rd of the season came in the 12th inning and defeated Oakland 5-4. Two-time winner Al Fitzmorris has stopped sucking lollipops, does not like gum or tobacco and has resorted to a new "pacifier"—chewing on plastic coffee-stirrers.
Bill Travers of Milwaukee (3-5) was chewed up by the Indians, who pummeled him for 14 runs and 18 hits before he was relieved in the eighth. Travers was given a huge ovation by the Cleveland crowd when he was finally removed by Manager Alex Grammas, who explained that he was too short on pitchers to make the change sooner. Don Money hit three homers, one as rookie Larry Sorensen downed Boston 5-3.
It seemed like a mismatch when Jerry Garvin of Toronto (3-4), who had lost 10 games in a row, faced Nolan Ryan of California. But with relief help from Pete Vuckovich, the Blue Jays won 3-1. Vuckovich also saved a 6-3 win against the Royals and was a 5-4 victor over the Angels.
BOS 71-47 BALT 70-49 NY 71-50 DET 56-64 CLEV 55-66 MIL 54-72 TOR 42-77
While Philadelphia (page 14) won six of seven, Pittsburgh tried to figure out how to win on the road, Chicago tried to avoid being Cubby-holed and St. Louis did some long-ball hitting for a change. The Pirates (3-3) won two of three home games behind John Candelaria (13-4), making them 46-16 in Pittsburgh. In Chicago, however, the Pirates lost two of three, leaving them 25-36 on the road. They were fortunate to topple the Cubs 7-6, scoring three times after Frank Taveras had apparently ended the fifth inning by striking out. Catcher George Mitterwald missed that third strike, allowing a run to score as Taveras scooted to first base. Moments later, Phil Garner cracked his 16th homer. Bill Robinson continued his solid hitting with four home runs, giving him 22 in all.
Although they fell seven games back, the Cubs (3-3) were encouraged by some strong pitching. Rick Reuschel (16-5) struck out 11 Pirates and won 4-2 with the help of Bobby Murcer's 22nd and 23rd home runs. Dave Giusti did not allow a run in seven innings of relief. He also earned his first save since coming to the Cubs.